Steny Hoyer Inadvertently Created the Best Metaphor for This Congress

The U.S. Capitol is shown on the morning of June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Yesterday House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his Virginia primary to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.National Journal

The House's No. 2 Democrat, Steny Hoyer, sent out an inadvertent metaphor for this Congress in an email to reporters Tuesday. The email, titled "113th Congress' To-Do List," was meant to rib Republicans for failing to bring up major bills as the legislative year winds down.

"House Republicans have a choice: They can work with us to get things done and start checking off the tasks on Congress' to-do list, or they can ignore the American people and veer even further to the right. Here's a reminder of what needs to be done."

There was just one problem: The list was blank.

(Email Screengrab)

Hoyer's office said that the photo issue was unintentional, and that the email appeared in full for other recipients. But it's perhaps a more realistic view of what Congress is likely to get done this year with members distracted by a leadership race in the House, the Fourth of July holiday, a five-week recess beginning in August, and a contentious midterm election in November.

Hoyer's office provided another copy of the list, which includes some major pieces of legislation that Democrats have pushed for, including an extension of unemployment-insurance benefits and renewing some tax provisions, both of which expired in December. The list also includes reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, something conservatives have railed against, and refilling the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to go broke at the end of next month.

This story has been updated.